Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become huge days in the retail calendar. Here are some top tips to help you make sure your business – and your website – is ready for the beginning of the festive buying season

The ecommerce figures for Black Friday and Cyber Monday last year showed that the UK population and its retailers have decided the madness of these two flash sale days is A Good Thing, with the long weekend fast becoming a signal for the start of the festive buying season. Andrew Langridge of eTrader, which makes websites for garment decorators, shares his top tips on how to make sure both your business and your e-commerce site survive this busy season.


Be seen
Being seen online requires a huge amount of work, but the results are worth it. Online garment decorators can go about it using two main approaches: a social media campaign or an online paid advertising campaign.

To develop an eye-catching social media campaign, create a ‘teaser’ approach to create a real buzz around your business’s upcoming sale. A social media strategy over a number of weeks is inexpensive, but requires planning to ensure that you deliver an engaging campaign.

A paid advertising campaign can quickly increase your visibility: show off exclusive deals using Google Adwords along with Facebook and Twitter advertising. Pay Per Click (PPC) can be expensive, but you are able to limit your budget to ensure a healthy ROI.


Pick your approach
Many good marketing strategies focus on the countdown to the big event. They drip-feed customers little bits of information to keep them intrigued so they will rush to the brand’s website on the day.

The most successful online campaigns use a combination of approaches: email marketing, PPC, search engine optimisation (SEO) and social media campaigns.

Remember, however, that flash sales such as those on Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over quickly, so if you want to limit your time spent on it then we suggest focusing on email marketing and social media.


Prepare to succeed
There are a number of challenges when it comes to online flash sales: the nature of the event means that for 24 hours, or for however long it runs for, you have to be thoroughly prepared for the chaos that ensues. A number of customers we speak to who operate flash sales often struggle to keep up with demand or reduce their prices far too low, leaving little margin for profit.

A big problem for garment decorators is whether their site can cope with a huge increase in traffic. We always suggest checking out your site’s capabilities beforehand: after all, you don’t want to spend a huge amount of time, resources and capital only to discover your site isn’t able to cope with the demand. Customers expect a slick user experience and your website needs to be able to do just that.

You also need to create an advertising banner for the homepage, a custom area for the flash sale and other features to ensure you are fully promoting the event. Those people who have eTrader sites will be able to do this easily.


Test and refine
Thoroughly plan in advance a strategy that best fits your online business and its resources. Run tests to ensure that your site and sales strategy will run as smoothly as possible on the day – this gives you the chance to iron out any problems well in advance of the actual flash sale taking place.


Be creative
As stated, your business needs to stand out and be seen! It is hard work competing online against other garment decorators, so think outside the box – try something a little different to intrigue your potential customers.


  • On Black Friday in 2014, nearly 60% of UK online traffic was via mobile devices, according IBM, 30% more than in 2013, with mobile sales accounting for 47% of all sales. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you could be missing out.
  • According to E-consultancy, email marketing accounted for 23.9% of the sales on Cyber Monday last year. Time to get your email marketing campaign in place.
  • Last year, £810 million was spent online on Black Friday alone.
  • A study by ecommerce consultancy Salmon predicts that this year online orders on Black Friday will grow by 17.6 per cent, equating to a rise of £150m that will see online sales exceed £1 billion for the first time
  • An eDigital surveys found that 30% of respondents said they planned to buy online on Black Friday, compared to 8% of shoppers last year.
  • The peak time for traffic on Black Friday is 9 am.